While saddened by Christopher Reeve's tragic demise, director Bryan Singer has grit his teeth and declared that the legend will never die.
IMDb announced Singer, helming the newest Superman movie project, Superman Returns, with one of the biggest casting decisions of the planet: The next Superman is Brandon James Routh.
The DC Comics project has been in production negotiations since the mid-1990s, and has had several directors and screenwriters attached to it, including Tim Burton, Kevin Smith, Brett Ratner and McG.
The roster of actors considered to be faster than a speeding bullet is stellar, to say the least: Nicolas Cage, James Caviezel, Josh Hartnett, Ashton Kutcher, Paul Walker, Jason Behr and many more; most Hollywood fresh-faces have been reluctant to step into the franchise because of superstitious reasons, and possible career suicide.
But who in Krypton is Brandon Routh?
A 25 year old from Iowa, so far relegated largely to bit roles on sitcoms like Gilmore Girls and Will and Grace, he recently completed his first starring role in an independent film, Deadly, alongside Laura Prepon and Tess Harper.
Standing just right at 6' 2", he seems to be the right combination of dishy leading man and wide-eyed rookie, but landing the role amid fevered speculation, he will have some very big red boots to fill.
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Superman Returns, starring Brandon, will hit screens in June 2006. Bryan Singer seems assured to make fans believe this Iowa-boy can leap tall buildings with a single bound. Of course, Singer, who helmed the hugely successful X-Men franchise, bet the mutant farm on an unknown Australian called Hugh Jackman and made him Wolverine. The rest, as Lex Luthor would say, is the stuff of legend.
In the DC Comics universe, after the fateful, all-black cover issue of Superman's dramatic death (at the hands of Doomsday), there was a resurrection several issues later with several Superman 'clones' ready to wear the big S. Metropolis is praying this isn't another.